2009 Open Day

March 27th, 2009

Schools and public invade QCAT

For years, many residents of Brisbane’s leafy western suburbs have wondered what actually went on behind the gates of the Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies (QCAT).

Now they have a better understanding, following a very successful Schools Day and Open Day on 27 and 28 March respectively. The two days allowed CSIRO and other QCAT tenants, including Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and Teakle Composites, to engage at a personal level with children and adults from the local community.

More than 300 primary and secondary students took part in a structured day of activities on the Schools Day with lectures, science demonstrations and hands-on activities. Both teachers and students were impressed. ‘It is very obvious that everyone (at QCAT) is passionate and proud of their work’, was one comment from a secondary teacher.

The Saturday Open Day attracted more than a thousand people. It echoed many of the Schools Day events and added a demonstration of Exploration and Mining’s brand new Virtual Mining Centre, a series of open lectures and a display of autonomous equipment from the ICT Centre, including a 20 tonne autonomous forklift.

DSTO drew a crowd with their rocket launched Scramjet technology. The highlight was their release of nitrogen at 15,000 psi to demonstrate the operation of thrusters used to alter the trajectory of their rocket.

There was a real buzz of interest and activity on the day. Judging from the feedback, our visitors were happy with the day and deeply impressed with the research taking place in their region.

QCAT also owes a debt of gratitude to the many staff members who donated their time to make the event a success.